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Zaltyre

Time for a New Vault?

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Posted (edited)

I know some of you are as disappointed with the apparent abandonment of the Vault by ANA as I am. The Vault is a great resource for creating custom quests, and a platform to share those quests with the community.

I realized some time ago that we really don't need ANA for that. There is enough web development talent here in the community to make a tool serving all the functions of the current Vault-  perhaps even enough to do it better.

I've kept silent about a project like this in the hope that ANA would pick the Vault back up or firmly dissolve it. After this amount of time with NO communication, that hope is gone. I am convinced the Vault is doomed to a slow and quiet decay. Any change will have to be self-effected.

I am aware that such a task would tread interesting copyright ground, so I want to make clear that I'm interested in keeping a project like this legal.

I have some questions I think worth exploring:

-How many of you out there miss an active Vault? Is this a demographic I'm imagining, or is it really significant?

-How many of you would be willing to take steps toward creating an alternate vault? Do you think a project of this type is worthwhile?

-If you're nodding your head in agreement to those first questions, do you have a preferred platform/language to work within?

Edited by Zaltyre

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My reply may be less than helpful as an answer to your questions, save for a demographic measurement, but I'm an avid fan of the D2e game, its mechanics, and design with the map tiles, scalability, etc. I own all the expansions & lieutenants and half of the hero/monster packs (storage space always becomes a limiting factor). I've been using the Quest Vault for around a year and am equally frustrated and disappointed at its abandonment in favor of selling new products at the cost of ignoring existing customers. Most recently, I've been recreating the Kindred Fire quests so that I can Overlord the campaign for my group of 5 players/heroes and lacking map tiles and monsters for expansions that are specifically called for is also frustrating.

That being said, I'm a veteran computer tech with a lot of hardware/software experience, but very little programming (and I mean non-existent, like, having used QBASIC in college 15 years ago), but I'm a quick learner and more than happy to help where and how I can. When the time comes, just point me in a direction...

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The biggest issue I see is not technical but legal.  Having a tool like this is just waiting to be shut down by ANA for IP violation, and even if that never happens the threat will scare developers away from investing their time.  The work around is as per Valkyrie, to have a local solution that pulls data from the official app.  I wouldn't be against someone expanding Valkyrie and creating an editor mode designed for traditional play export.

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Posted (edited)

My two cents...

It's easy to create a 'light' Vault with :
- Map settings
- Quest details input
- export to PDF

What will be more difficult is to have a database to keep all the data for history / later updates

So it's not a technical problem..
Legaly had they being giving support to the current Vault, of course, I think they would have been against any fan project like that ... but as it seems its no more the case ....
But as always it's better to ask before  !

Edited by Felin

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Posted (edited)

The autoformatted pdf is a big part of what I'm after, as it's key to taking quest ideas and giving them a polished look.

Memory of previous quest versions is "nice," but not a mandatory feature in my personal opinion.

There are also a number of little features available in the official quest maps not available in the Vault- multiple color unique spaces, crumbling terrain, unique search token markers (really) which would be great to add.

Edited by Zaltyre

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Posted (edited)

From my point of view what's missing on the Vault could be easily put in a new tool ...

As in the current Vault .. if only they took the few hours needed ..

:(

 

Edited by Felin

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Unless they're miraculously adding the missing stuff (don't hold your collective breath) the vault along with any content on it seems to have vanished- first time I've got nothing following the links, and just when some people in my circle liked the idea of using it for Genesys RPG stuff as well as Descent.

 

Slightly worried it's recently been retired.

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1 hour ago, sedgetone said:

Valkyrie is a great project and any effort should probably be put into that. I'm sure they'd appreciate the help.

Valkyrie is a fantastic project. While Valkyrie is designed for app play with an automated Overlord, the quest vault allows for creation of classic style quests with a human Overlord player. As far as I'm aware, Valkyrie doesn't support creation/pdf publishing of these types of quests.

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I decided to continue working on a campaing I startet more than a year ago.

The quest vault is a great tool and an updated version would be great. I fear I cannot help with the development, but would love to see something like this happening.

 

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59 minutes ago, Chaoticus said:

I decided to continue working on a campaing I startet more than a year ago.

The quest vault is a great tool and an updated version would be great. I fear I cannot help with the development, but would love to see something like this happening.

 

The Vault is a great tool, and that's what makes it disappointing that it's not updated or supported. I had been using it to keep my quests updated, but I've run into technical issues that prevent me from saving changes on certain quests. There's no delete feature, and I've been trying to get a response from vault support for a long time now. The Vault has become unreliable as a quest creation source, which is what prompted these ideas.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Chaoticus said:

I decided to continue working on a campaing I startet more than a year ago.

The quest vault is a great tool and an updated version would be great. I fear I cannot help with the development, but would love to see something like this happening.

 

The Vault is a great tool, and that's what makes it disappointing that it's not updated or supported. I had been using it to keep my quests updated, but I've run into technical issues that prevent me from saving changes on certain quests. There's no delete feature, and I've been trying to get a response from vault support for a long time (literally, 9+ months) now. The Vault has become unreliable as a quest creation source, which is what prompted these ideas.

Edited by Zaltyre

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On 5/13/2018 at 1:55 AM, Chaoticus said:

Indeed. I edited one of my quests today and the changes are lost. Very disappointing. :(

There is an odd glitch where you think stuff's lost but you can sometimes salvage it by some clever web page reloading - I had this happen and an 'oh no' moment but somehow managed to get my work back in the browser and eventually resave it- a good tip though is to plan the text elsewhere and screenshot stuff before saving to the vault, just in case you do lose it.

 

The bug/quirk can make it seem like it's blanked out or reverted-back-to-earlier-versions bits of your quests- I may have posted somewhere how I managed to salvage my quest that had this happen (I can't remember exactly now, there was much trial and error and patience, and once I'd got the right version back in my browser I made sure I saved it. Some multiple web tabs and browser history luck may have helped me!

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Thank you for your hint.

I found that its best to create the quests anew using opera. With firefox, there are issues when using the quest vault. Not only with regards to saving the data, but also with adding/removing expansions since the buttons are missing.

 

 

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On 5/14/2018 at 10:46 AM, Watercolour Dragon said:

There is an odd glitch where you think stuff's lost but you can sometimes salvage it by some clever web page reloading - I had this happen and an 'oh no' moment but somehow managed to get my work back in the browser and eventually resave it- a good tip though is to plan the text elsewhere and screenshot stuff before saving to the vault, just in case you do lose it.

 

The bug/quirk can make it seem like it's blanked out or reverted-back-to-earlier-versions bits of your quests- I may have posted somewhere how I managed to salvage my quest that had this happen (I can't remember exactly now, there was much trial and error and patience, and once I'd got the right version back in my browser I made sure I saved it. Some multiple web tabs and browser history luck may have helped me!

 

On 5/15/2018 at 1:54 PM, Chaoticus said:

Thank you for your hint.

I found that its best to create the quests anew using opera. With firefox, there are issues when using the quest vault. Not only with regards to saving the data, but also with adding/removing expansions since the buttons are missing.

 

 

I had the same problems you did while using Chrome & Firefox, both. (Firefox would prevent me from adding expansions as usable options in the editor, but Chrome would prevent me form placing tiles sometimes. I'd have to create the quest in Chrome and then edit it in FF) and there's a few of my quests that have been reverted back to a very early state of creation. I've had an email string going over the couple months with the same "Zach" that I usually get the canned responses from (and I suspect everyone else too?). 

"Thank you for contacting us with your concerns.  I have forwarded your e-mail to the appropriate people/persons involved to start an internal discussion. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us again!"

" I have forwarded your previous support ticket to the web master in charge of updating the Quest Vault.  We apologize for the delay and they will fix this issue as soon as they can."

"Thank you for contacting us with your follow-up.  I apologize for any miscommunication that may have happened as we do currently support the Quest Vault.  I can assure you that this is not going to an unmonitored mail box and I have personally talked to the web team to update the Quest Vault to be more current.  However the Quest Vault may not be their highest priority to monitor 24/7/365 and we appreciate any reports to better improve the service.  If you find any further issues with the Quest Vault please feel free to contact us again and we will be sure to forward it to our web team (and their manager if necessary)."

"Thank you for contacting us with your concerns.  We apologize that we are not able to support the Quest Vault better and we will strive to make more improvements in the near future.  I have forwarded your feedback to the appropriate persons involved (and their managers) and they will get to updating the website as soon as they can.  If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us again!"

 

Granted, I'll probably just end up getting black-listed, but I figure I'll start bugging them about once a week. I think we all should... softwaresupport@fantasyflightgames.com 😈

 

 

 

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Maybe drop a hint in there about how awesome a vault-app combo would be (A RTL where you can design your own quests playable with/without the app, a kind of Quest Vault/RTL combo) Maybe with the options to add clever stuffs like animations. Wishful thinking!

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